Remembering our favorite moments -- behind the scenes and on stage.
Athena Portillo (Executive Producer, Star Wars Resistance)
"My my most memorable moment was at Celebration Anaheim in 2015: The Golden Gate Garrison and Dave Filoni inducted me into the 501st. It was a complete surprise. I had just wrapped a panel called the 'The Women of Animation,' where Filoni was the moderator, and I was honored to share the stage with some pretty amazing female leaders of Lucasfilm.
As the panel wrapped, we all walked off stage and slowly made it into a room where I suddenly became dumbfounded. There were clone troopers, stormtroopers, Imperials, TIE fighter pilots, the Perales family dressed as the Rebels main characters, R2-D2. I just figured I had walked into an area where cosplayers were taking photos with each other, but then Filoni walks up to them and suddenly I'm presented with a beautiful plaque and name tag. Filoni, along with some 501st friends of mine, Elton Hom, John Schlosser, Jon Farmer, and Kathy KayDee, all said really nice things, and it just warmed my heart that day. I have always felt like Filoni's Padawan and to receive this from my Jedi Master was truly unforgettable."
Mickey Capoferri (Senior Director of Content and Programming)
"Mark [Hamill] wanted to do a piece on the StarWars.com stage at the end of one of the days -- just a sort of off-the-cuff, talk to the crowd type thing -- which we obviously wanted to make happen. But it was getting late, his line was still long for autographs, and the doors were closing soon. It was getting really stressful as the crowd at the StarWars.com stage knew we weren't leaving, so they knew something was going to happen. And Mark was one of the last few people still signing, so people were putting two and two together and swarming around our area.
When his line was almost done, I went over to the booth and waited in the back room for him to finish. He walks in and asks me, 'What's the plan?', to which I realized I didn't really have a plan to get him discreetly to our stage from where we were -- there were lots of fans in between. But there was a long side route we could go, if we could just get past the first group without them seeing him and knowing where we were going.
So my plan, that I came up with while staring at a curious Luke Skywalker, was to give him my Star Wars Show hoodie to cover up. He put it on and I just had to take a picture -- to which he paused with the hood just over his head like a Jedi robe. It was perfect.
With his face completely covered by the hood, we did the walk around empty signing cubes and turned the corner to our stage. He walked up the back steps just as people started to catch on, and he surprised the hosts and everyone -- in a way only Mark can.
I reluctantly did wash that hoodie. Eventually."
Daniel Kennedy (Event Coordinator)
Justin Bolger (ILMxLAB Marketing Manager)
"Ian McDiarmid reading from The Jedi Doth Return at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim will forever be one of my most treasured Celebration memories. To be present as my favorite Star Wars character came to life in a once-in-a-lifetime command performance was, if you'll pardon the pun, electrifying."